Dear readers of World Religion Weekly,
This week, I am studying Christianity!
It has been fairly uneventful Bible reading, up until a few days ago, which is why there hasn’t been much posting.
New Life is a youth group conglomerate of several chruches, with around sixty members in this branch alone. If you aren’t familiar with youth groups, they are groups of children and teens, assembled by churches in order to develop a sense of community. Which mean that though they are organized by churches, they often focus more on non-church-related things.
I had investigated several youth groups beforehand, realizing that many of them are inactive during the summer. I ultimately chose New Life because it was closest. My friend, Emalee, a longtime New Life goer, invited me to one of their end of summer parties. I understand that usually there is a larger church focus. This gathering included rides on one of the member’s boat, root veer floats, frisbee, and a scavenger hunt that spanned all of downtown Poulsbo. Yes, it was fun. Yes, the root veer floats were delicious.
I mainly talked with several people that I knew from school. The usual questions came up, “How has your summer been? What have you been up to?” I explained my project a few times over.
There was prayer at the beginning and end of the event. The first prayer was just a minute of silence with bowed heads, where the bearded pastor prayed that no one would die on the boat.
Over the course of the event, I spoke to a few people about what Chrsitianity meant to them. Interviews are coming. One mother explained that she really loved youth group because it encouraged her daughter to socialize with people outside of her usual friend group. A few other rearticulated those sentiments. Youth Group is mainly a social occasion, which strengthens individuals bonds with their church by strengthening bonds between it’s members.
The message at the end of the service tied everything back to Christianity. The pastor skillfully made the passage more relevant to the youth by tying it into the Olympic Dream Team. He spoke over how individuals needed to completely yield to Jesus (“go all in for Jesus”) like the apostles who immediately abandoned their fishing nets. The dream team analogy tied into not only giving it your all, but the unique skills each individual has to offer their church and Jesus. This was concluded by referencing the fact that the apostles had to leave their nets behind. Apparently, everyone has to leave something behind in order to fully realize their potential relationship with Jesus. We were encouraged to find out what we, ourselves, have to leave behind.
All in all, it was a good experience, and I am glad that I finally attended one of these staples of modern Christianity.
Thank you for reading,